Srbenka

  • Nebojsa Slijepcevic
  • Croatia
  • 2018
  • 72 min
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Rehearsals for a play about the ethnically-motivated murder of a Serbian teenager in 1991 gradually turn into collective psychotherapy. Croatian stage director Oliver Frljić uses the play to expose the unprocessed traumas of war—in contemporary Croatia, these traumas are still at the root of threats and bullying aimed at children with Serbian roots. A 12-year-old girl appearing in the play reveals that when she discovered she was Serbian, she cried. Why are such young children even aware of their ethnicity? Why must they hide their origins? 

This disturbing film zooms in on the sometimes distressing discussions and conversations that take place during rehearsals. The participants all have their own history, their own perspective on the war and the present day. They share their stories in voice-overs accompanying shots of an empty stage. We see nothing of the performance itself, which creates a sense of distance between the theatrical reality of the characters and the struggles of the dramatists. The process they are going through is one that Croatia as a nation still needs to experience.

 

Credits

  • 72 min
  • color
  • DCP
Director
Nebojsa Slijepcevic
Production
Vanja Jambrovic / Restart
Cinematography
Nebojsa Slijepcevic, Bojan Mrdenovic
Editing
Tomislav Stojanovic
Sound Design
Tihomir Vrbanec
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